The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules Are Dead, but the Fight Isn’t

Federal net neutrality protections are officially dead.

Today the Federal Communications Commission’s rules barring internet providers from blocking or slowing content, or giving special treatment to certain content, were wiped off the books, following an FCC vote last December. But don’t expect to see huge changes right away.

First, there are still some rules constraining broadband providers. Several states, including New York and Washington, have passed regulations that ban or discourage internet providers from favoring certain content based on payments from content providers. Comcast, the nation’s largest broadband provider, is temporarily forbidden from violating net neutrality under the terms of the government’s approval of its 2011 acquisition of NBC Universal; that restriction expires in September. Charter, the second-largest home broadband provider, is required to uphold net neutrality until 2023 under the terms of its acquisition of Time [...]  read more

The messy, musical process behind the web’s new security standard

The web is a big place, and changing the way it works isn’t a simple process. But it has to happen somehow or we’d all still be using Mosaic and transmitting our private data in cleartext. A new security standard called TLS 1.3 is the latest big change to how our browsers communicate, but the process by which it was created is a little weirder and less structured than you might think.

“Anyone can participate from anywhere. There’s no cost — you can just send your stuff in,” said Sean Turner of the Internet Engineers Task Force, an official sort of collective that evaluates new standards for the web and decrees them best practices.

Turner and Joe Salowey, whom I spoke with after the standard was approved, are co-chairs of the Working Group that put together TLS 1.3 that upends years of security practices — all for the better, they hope.

Far from being a smoke-filled room where elites and captains of industry dictate the protocols and algorithms that will define the next generation [...]  read more

Stanford’s new lab could make particle accelerators 1,000 times smaller

One of those techniques is the plasma wakefield acceleration method you see above. The approach shoots super-energized electrons through a plasma to create a “wake” that provides energy to trailing particles. Where existing accelerators may need miles to provide enough acceleration power, this would need only “a few meters.” FACET-II is also flexible enough to offer the possibility of accelerating positrons (antimatter electrons), and could develop new electron sources like extremely bright X-ray lasers.

The facility won’t be ready until the end of 2019, and it won’t be cheap at $26 million. If it does produce smaller accelerators, though, it could dramatically reduce the costs of future locations. It’ll also serve as a hub for other forms of accelerator research, so you may see some additional breakthroughs regardless of how long it takes SLAC to achieve its main objective. Either way, it may be worth the effort if it improves humanity’s [...]  read more

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey release date, news and trailers

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is official, and will come out on October 5, 2018. At Ubisoft’s keynote at E3 2018 we got to learn a bit more about the game and can now confirm that it will be set in ancient Greece. The game is available to pre-order from Ubisoft’s website and, as you might expect, there will be an Ultimate Edition of the game that includes bonus in-game items and special missions for $119.99.

As far as plot details are concerned, you’ll be playing as an outcast Spartan hero, either Alexios or Kassandra. Like other games in the franchise, Odyssey will be open-world and will allow you to explore the setting of ancient Greece. The twist here, however, is that the world will change depending on decisions you make in-game. 

If the lack of major ship battles disappointed you in Origins, fear not, as Odyssey is set on the Aegean Sea, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for epic ship combat.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise set in Greece
  • When can I play it? October 5, 2018
  • What can I play it on? Expect PS4, Xbox One and PC 

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey release date

After the Assassin’s Creed series took a year out between Syndicate [...]  read more